What you need to know about UKVI IELTS: Scores, Types, Visas

What you need to know about UKVI IELTS: Scores, Types, Visas

You must already know about IELTS, the International English Language Testing System. The test is generally taken as proof of the candidate’s English proficiency to future universities and employers.

Students have to take IELTS Academic and professionals have to take IELTS General training.

IELTS scores are accepted by most universities and employers in English-speaking countries. However, if you want to go to the UK, it’s a different story. To get a UK visa you have to pass the standards set by the UK government and take UKVI IELTS.

UKVI IELTS is taken specifically to study, work, train vocationally, or move to the UK.

So, what should you expect on the exam? What score do you need? We’ll answer your obvious questions and provide you the obscure request details as well.

In less than 10 minutes you will learn:

  • What is UKVI IELTS?
  • If you need to take UKVI exam
  • Different types of UKVI IELTS
  • What score you need on your UKVI IELTS exam
  • Difference between IELTS and UKVI IELTS

What is UKVI IELTS?

UKVI stands for UK Visa and Immigration. The UKVI IELTS is approved by the UK Visa and Immigration department.

Do I need to take the UKVI IELTS?

Yes, if you want to go to the UK to study, work, or move.

If you have already taken the General or Academic IELTS to secure a job or get admission into your dream university, in rare cases you might not have to take UKVI IELTS again. Just make sure that your scores qualify for UK visa purposes and not just for your university’s eligibility criteria.

In most cases students who have already taken IELTS or TOEFL to prove their English proficiency to universities will still have to take UKVI IELTS.

In some cases, students from non-English speaking countries are exempted from taking IELTS to secure admission in a UK university for a variety of reasons. If you get accepted, you will still need to take the UKVI IELTS for visa purposes.

There are three types of UKVI exams. Ask your universities which type of UKVI IELTS test is required. Based on that you will have to get a certain UKVI IELTS band score you need to get.

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Types of UKVI exams

There are three types of UKVI IELTS exams. You must already be familiar with the Academic and General tests.

The Life Skills exam is a new test researched by the UK government as a version of a Secure English Language Test (SELT) version that has recently been released and received UK Government approval as IELTS Life Skills.

Within this test there are three different types: A1, A2, B1. Your abilities will be evaluated in accordance with the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR), levels A1 and B1.

You can retake the IELTS Life Skills test. But if you pass the test, you are not permitted to reapply for it within two years.

Type of exam

Details

IELTS Academic

The UKVI IELTS academic exams are the best option for applicants who plan to study in an English-speaking nation.

 

You can also apply for IELTS Academic in order to register professionally.

 

The main goal of the UKVI academic test is to determine if you have the abilities to keep up in an academic environment.

IELTS for UKVI General Training

Apply for UKVI IELTS General Training, if you are considering or preparing to pursue higher education.

 

The IELTS for UKVI General Training focuses on fundamental survival skills in a diverse job setting as its main purpose.

 

It resembles the standard IELTS exam.

The IELTS General Training test design includes hearing, reading, writing, and speaking assessments, just like IELTS UKVI Academic.

 

 

UKVI IELTS Life Skills

Take this UKVI exam if you want to prove your English speaking and listening skills to acquire a specific visa.

 

 

UKVI IELTS Life Skills A1

This test is usually taken by executives of international companies, athletes, and family members (spouse and parents) to prove their English speaking and listening abilities.

UKVI Life Skills A2

 

You can take this exam to prove English speaking and listening skills for family extension visas. This exam can only be taken in the UK.

UKVI IELTS Life Skills B1

You need to take this test, if you want to remain in the UK indefinitely.

Scores required for different visas

Depending on the kind of visa you want, you need to get a specific score. Refer to the table below to find out the scores you need.

Visa description

Minimum CEFR

level required

Skills

IELTS test and minimum score

required overall and in each skill1

 

Tier 1 (General) visa

C1

Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening

IELTS for UKVI 7.0 overall, and in each of the four skills

Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa

B1

Reading, Writing Speaking and Listening

IELTS for UKVI 4.0 overall, and in each of the four skills

Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa

B1

Reading, Writing Speaking and Listening

IELTS for UKVI 4.0 overall, and in each of the four skills

Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa

B1

Reading, Writing Speaking and Listening

IELTS for UKVI 4.0 overall, and in each of the four skills

Tier 2 (General) visa – in most cases

B1

Reading, Writing Speaking and Listening

IELTS for UKVI 4.0 overall, and in each of the four skills

Tier 2 (Sportsperson) visa

A1

Reading, Writing Speaking and Listening

IELTS Life Skills at A1 Pass

IELTS for UKVI 4.0 overall, and in each of the four skills

Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) visa

B2

Reading, Writing Speaking and Listening

IELTS for UKVI – 5.5 overall, and in each of the four skills

Tier 4 (General) student visa – below degree level and pre-sessional courses

B1

Reading, Writing Speaking and Listening

IELTS for UKVI – 4.0 overall, and in each of the four skills

Tier 4 (General) student visa – degree level and above

B2

Reading, Writing Speaking and Listening

IELTS/IELTS for UKVI 5.5 overall, and in each of the four skills

Family route

• Spouse/partner

• Parent of a dependant

A1

Speaking and Listening

IELTS Life Skills at A1 – Pass

IELTS for UKVI – 4.0 in Speaking and Listening

Family route (extension)

• Spouse/partner

• Parent of a dependant

A2

Speaking and Listening

IELTS Life Skills at A2 – Pass

IELTS for UKVI – 4.0 in Speaking and Listening

Indefinite leave to remain (to settle) or citizenship

B1

Speaking and Listening

IELTS Life Skills at B1 – Pass

IELTS for UKVI – 4.0 in Speaking and Listening

 

Difference between IELTS and UKVI IELTS

The content, format, level of difficulty and scoring are the same for IELTS and UKVI IELTS.

Parameter

IELTS

IELTS UKVI

Test Report

Regular

Slightly different. It mentions the name of the approved UKVI test center.

Mode

Computer-based

Computer-based with extra security protocols to ensure your authenticity.

Fees

INR 14,700

IELTS for UK Visas and Immigration fee: INR 15,100

IELTS Life Skills fee: INR 13,940

 

Eligibility

International Candidates applying to English-speaking countries from non English-speaking countries.

International candidates who wish to pursue study, job, or migrate to the UK.

Band Score

6.5 or above

UKVI IELTS band score should be 4.0 or above in Speaking and Listening

 

FAQs

  1.  Is IELTS for UKVI only valid for the UK?
    UKVI IELTS can be used as a proof of your English proficiency in any university or country that accepts IELTS. However, IELTS won’t be accepted by the UK Visa and Immigration authorities. So, we recommend just taking the UKVI IELTS.
  2. I have already taken the IELTS and got a good score. Do I need to take the UKVI IELTS to study in the UK?
    Yes. You need to take UKVI IELTS to qualify for a student visa. However if you are coming on a short-term visa which is applicable to courses up to 11 months, you might not need to take the UKVI exam. Summer schools, short diplomas and some Master’s degrees fall under this category.
  3. Can I use my IELTS test score for my UK Visa application?
    No. You need to take the ‘IELTS for UKVI’ test to meet the UK immigration’s requirement.
  4. How do I book/register for the test?
    You can book the test online. Go here. Pick the test, the module, and the city.
  1. I didn’t qualify the test, what should I do?

Prepare and retake the test. You can take UKVI IELTS General and Academic as many times as you would like.

  1. How can I prepare for the test?

There are many sources available on the official website. You can find both free and paid learning material.

  1. I have more questions/ I want more help?

Articles can only provide so much information it’s natural to have more questions. Create an account on SelectRight and get in touch with one of our experts. They will answer any other questions you might have.